- Posted March 30, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Living with autism
My son has Asperger's Syndrome
My 12 year old son, Brian, was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was 8 years old by a Developmental Pediatrician and a Neurologist. His diagnosis has since been confirmed by a psychologist. Brian is a great kid with normal academic ability but lacks the necessary social abilities to function "normally" around his peers. He has no friends. None of the neighborhood kids will play with him. He looks and sounds "normal" (we like to say neurotypical), so the teachers don't understand why he has such difficulty making friends and mistake his social inadequancies as parental failures. The school does virtually nothing to address his Autism Spectrum Disorder even though he has an IEP under the Autism heading. His therapies are so expensive, we cannot afford to continue with them. We make TOO much in Ohio to qualify for any kind of aid for him, yet insurance refuses to cover ASDs as they are developmental disorders, so everything is out of pocket. (one blood test was $1600) No one talks about kids with Asperger's Syndrome. They seem to fall through the cracks because they do not have the mental retardation that often accompanies low functioning autism - so alot of the Autism schools are not appropriate. They are not as poorly adjusted as the high functioning autistics and seem "normal" so schools don't focus on their social needs. Our son would have a chance at a "normal" life if we could afford his therapies. We're even considering moving to a state where he could get medical assistance. No one really understands his Asperger's and typically blame us for his social problems - thereby dismissing our requests for help. We feel trapped. He feels miserable and has developed depression and anxiety due to his social inadequancies. Our sweet 12 year old boy is now taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. This is SCARY to say the least. He is a milk-allergic child and has started to consume milk products in order to make himself violently ill so that he doesn't have to go to school and deal with the other children who ridicule, threaten to hurt him (and have even threatened to SHOOT him), and are generally intolerant of him. I wish there was more help for us out there. It is ridiculous that this is not being taken seriously. Insurance companies don't want to cover autism for fear of having to cover "weird" alternative therapies. We would just like his psychology visits and social therapies to be covered. It's as though our politicians and society as a whole has decided that these kids aren't worth these simple therapies that would lead to a "normal" life. How can one say that every 1 of 150 children is not worth medical attention?